RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE PREVIOUS UPR
16TH SESSION OF THE UPR WORKING GROUP, 22 APRIL - 3 MAY 2013
In its submissions for the UPR, Amnesty International endeavours to assess the level of
implementation of some of the recommendations, made by other states in the previous UPR cycle, that the organization considers to be of the greatest importance in terms of improving the human rights situation in the countries reviewed. The information in this document is drawn from the submissions made by Amnesty International for the 16th session of the UPR Working Group on the following countries: Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Germany, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
The UPR modalities stipulate that, from the second cycle onwards, the reviews should focus, inter alia, on the implementation of the preceding review outcome.1 Amnesty International considers that this aspect of the UPR is crucial if the UPR is to fulfill its key objective of improving the human rights situation on the ground. Amnesty International urges all states participating in the UPR to raise the issue of implementation of previous recommendations during the interactive debate in the UPR Working Group, including exploring obstacles to implementation and options for cooperation and sharing of good practice in the respective area.
At the time of its first Universal Periodic Review in February 2009, Cuba accepted 60 recommendations of the 89 commendations made to it by other States.27 Most of the recommendations accepted by Cuba concerned economic and social rights policies that had already been implemented.28 However, Cuba also accepted several recommendations on issues that Amnesty International believes are key to improving the human rights situation in the country, including as regards the promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms,29 the death penalty,30 cooperation with UN human rights mechanisms,31 and the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.32
Abolition of the death penalty
Application of the standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners
Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, including ill-treatment of common and political prisoners. The organization has concerns based on interviews with former prisoners of conscience who were released between 2009 and 2011; however, it is unable to verify the validity of current reports first hand. For this reason, Amnesty International believes that it is paramount that Cuba allows the Special Rapporteur on torture to visit the country and have unrestricted access to the prison population.
28 Several recommendations called on Cuba to extend its solidarity programmes or share its experience on promoting the right to health and education. Although Amnesty International acknowledges Cuba’s international cooperation programmes in promoting access to health and education in developing countries, the organization does not monitor Cuba’s solidarity programmes or to what extent its knowledge-base on health and education has been shared with other states, and therefore cannot comment on whether these recommendations have been implemented.
29 Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic review on Cuba, A/HRC/11/22, 29 May 2009, recommendation 130.4 (Jamaica), (A/HRC/11/22).
30 A/HRC/11/22, recommendation 130.42 (Brazil).
31 A/HRC/11/22, recommendations 130.34 (Brazil) and 130.37 (Chile).
32 A/HRC/11/22, recommendation 130.45 (The Netherlands).
34 A/HRC/11/22. Cuba accepted recommendation 130.42 (Brazil), and took under consideration recommendation 131.13 (Italy).
35 Human Rights Council. Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of Cuba – Addendum. A/HRC/11/22/Add.1, 29 May 2009, page 10 (A/HRC/11/22/Add.1).
36 In December 2010, the People’s Supreme Court commuted the death sentences of Salvadoran nationals Raúl Ernesto Cruz León and Otto René Rodríguez Llerena to 30 years in prison. They were both convicted of terrorism charges in 1999. On 28 December, Humberto Eladio Real Suárez, a Cuban national sentenced to death in 1996 for the killing of a police officer in 1994, had his sentence commuted to 30 years in prison.
37 At the time of writing, Cuba has overdue reports only on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and the initial report to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (overdue since June 2010).
39 A/HRC/11/22/Add.1, paragraph 3.
40 A/HRC/11/22/Add.1, paragraph 10.
41 A/HRC/11/22/Add.1, paragraph 14.